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Professional Development
Sustainability Skill-Building

Professional Development

The Earth Institute Professional Development Program helps students and alumni to achieve their sustainability-related career goals. The program offers skill-building seminars, networking opportunities, and tools that, together, better prepare students to pursue job opportunities in sustainability and related fields. The program complements existing services such as resume and cover letter review that are provided by Columbia University's career service offices.


Explore The Program Offerings:



Sustainability Skill-Building

The Sustainability Skills Seminars offer students and alumni practical skills that are specific to sustainability and environmental careers. The half-day, non-credit seminars are free. Past seminar topics have included Life Cycle Analysis, Geographic Information Systems, and Green Building Design.


Powerful Presence and Communication for Greater Impact
September 26, 2020. 10am-2pm
Location: Online via Zoom
Instructor: Julie Galdieri, Speech and Performance Coach

At the root of all successful business transformation is the power and integrity of the communication behind it. In this workshop, participants will learn to move beyond merely delivering information to become a compelling presence that effects change. At the intersection of brain science, classical acting techniques, vocal training, and physical self-awareness, students uncover and refine their innate charisma, grounded in their authentic center of strength. Students will learn the secrets for crafting a compelling narrative, tailored to their strengths and styles as communicators, to better convey their suite of knowledge. Presence and messaging need to resonate with key decision makers with clarity and persuasive energy—this training provides tools to dramatically enhance the speaker’s content and impact.

Nuts & Bolts of a Sustainability Career
October 3, 2020. 10am-2pm
Location: Online via Zoom
Instructor: Cathy Gibbons, Assistant Director of Career Development, School of Professional Studies

First impressions will make or break your chances of being considered for positions. Your marketing materials (resume, LinkedIn profile, pitch and cover letters) are the first professional connections that you make with an employer or others in your chosen profession. You want to ensure that you create a professional image for yourself. This workshop will cover how to create marketing materials that meet professional standards and help you to develop a compelling professional story of yourself. It will also look at the components of a larger career planning strategy and the importance of a self-assessment as a foundation for formulating the criteria that you will use to select your next employer and job. You must bring a paper copy of your resume and, if available, a paper copy of your LinkedIn profile and pitch.

Climate Justice and Green Energy
October 24, 2020. 10am-2pm
Location: Online via Zoom
Instructors: Multiple, WE ACT

This workshop will go in-depth and highlight the importance of environmental justice issues, climate justice issues, activism, and green energy while serving as a guide for students to discuss these topics and WE ACT’s prominent role in tackling environmental injustices throughout Northern Manhattan. Moreover, articulating the significance of this issue to BIPOC communities, while helping participants become knowledgeable about how to engage in these issues. Furthermore, participants in this training will become familiar with terminology, definitions, and case studies of exposure in other communities facing similar issues.

LEED Green Associate Exam Training
Dates: Friday, December 11 (3:00-5:30pm)
Saturday, December 12 (9:00-11:30am)
Sunday, December 13 (9:00-11:30am)
Location: Online via Zoom
Instructor: Narada Golden, Vice President WSP

This seminar will introduce participants to green building design and help prepare them for the LEED Green Associate exam. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, a LEED Green Associate credential demonstrates a strong understanding of current green building principles and practices. Specific learning objectives for the course include:

  • Develop an understanding of sustainability issues and green building strategies
  • Learn how LEED v4 is structured and functions
  • Understand the environmental intent for each LEED v4 credit
  • Discuss strategies to achieve specific goals within each LEED credit category
  • Learn regulations, terminology, and reference standards related to LEED v4
  • Learn tips and best practices for taking the LEED v4 Green Associate exam

Students and alums may register for these events through the Earth Institute Job List. For more information please email us.

Past Earth Institute Sustainability Skill Building Seminars:

  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Product Lifecycle Assessment and Carbon Footprinting
  • Green Building Design and LEED training
  • Consulting 101: How Consultants Win Work
  • Networking and Interviewing Skills Seminar
  • Sustainable Smart Technology and Controls Seminar
  • Climate Adaptation Planning Seminar
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Seminar
  • Sustainability Metrics
  • Greenhouse Gas Protocol's Corporate GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard
  • Public Speaking — Communication Strategy and Delivery

For more information, please email us.